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News Release Information

19-1590-ATL
Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (404) 893-4220

County Employment and Wages in Tennessee – First Quarter 2019

Employment rose in each of Tennessee’s six large counties from March 2018 to March 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (Large counties are those with annual average employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2018.) Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that employment gains ranged from 4.0 percent in Williamson County to 1.2 percent in Shelby County. (See table 1.)

Nationally, employment advanced 1.4 percent from March 2018 to March 2019 as 298 of the 355 largest U.S. counties had increases. Midland, TX, had the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment, with a gain of 5.8 percent. Bay, FL, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment, with a loss of 5.9 percent.

Among the largest counties in Tennessee, employment was highest in Davidson County (503,700) in March 2019, followed by Shelby County (498,300). Together, Tennessee’s six large counties accounted for 57.2 percent of total employment within the state. Nationwide, the 355 largest counties made up 73.5 percent of total U.S. employment, which stood at 146.5 million in March 2019.

Average weekly wages increased in 4 of Tennessee’s 6 largest counties from the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019. Williamson County (7.4 percent) had the largest over-the-year wage gain, followed by Rutherford County (5.1 percent). Williamson County had the highest average weekly wage among the state’s largest counties at $1,389, followed by Davidson County at $1,222. Nationally, the average weekly wage increased 2.8 percent over the year, growing to $1,184 in the first quarter of 2019. (See table 1.)

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 89 counties in Tennessee with 2018 average annual employment levels below 75,000. Average weekly wages in these counties ranged from $1,342 to $504. (See table 2.)

Large county wage changes

In the first quarter of 2019, 4 of Tennessee’s 6 largest counties had over-the-year wage gains above the national average of 2.8 percent. Williamson County (7.4 percent) had the highest wage gain and ranked fifth among the 355 largest counties nationwide. In contrast, Knox and Davidson counties had over-the-year wage declines, down 2.7 and 0.5 percent, respectively.  (See table 1.)

Nationally, 325 of the 355 largest counties had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. San Francisco, CA, had the largest percentage wage gain at 10.2 percent, followed by Bay, FL (9.3 percent).

Of the 355 largest counties, 28 experienced an over-the-year decrease in average weekly wages. Elkhart, IN, had the largest percentage decrease in average weekly wages (-7.6 percent), followed by Olmsted, MN (-5.1 percent).

Large county average weekly wages

Average weekly wages in 3 of Tennessee’s 6 largest counties placed in the top half of the national ranking among the 355 largest counties in the first quarter of 2019. Williamson and Davidson Counties had average weekly wages above the U.S. average of $1,184 and ranked in the top 100 nationwide at 43rd and 80th, respectively. Shelby County ($1,104) ranked 130th.

Nationwide, average weekly wages were above the U.S. average ($1,184) in 92 of the 355 largest counties in the first quarter of 2019. New York, NY, had the highest average weekly wage at $3,153, followed by San Francisco, CA ($2,759), and Santa Clara, CA ($2,758).

Among the largest U.S. counties, 263 had average weekly wages below the national average in the first quarter of 2019. Cameron, TX, reported the lowest wage ($648), followed by Horry, SC ($652), and Hidalgo, TX ($662).

Average weekly wages in Tennessee’s smaller counties

Among the 89 counties in Tennessee—those with 2018 annual employment levels below 75,000—only Roane County ($1,342) had an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,184. Hancock County reported the lowest average weekly in the state, averaging $504 in the first quarter of 2019. (See table 2.)

When all 95 counties in Tennessee were considered, 7 reported average weekly wages below $600, 26 had wages from $600 to $699, 35 had wages from $700 to $799, 14 had wages from $800 to $899, and 13 had wages at or above $900. (See chart 1.)

Additional statistics and other information

QCEW data for states have been included in this release in table 3. For additional information about quarterly employment and wages data, please read the Technical Note or visit www.bls.gov/cew.

Employment and Wages Annual Averages Online features comprehensive information by detailed industry on establishments, employment, and wages for the nation and all states. The 2018 edition of this publication contains selected data produced by Business Employment Dynamics (BED) on job gains and losses, as well as selected data from the first quarter 2019 version of the national news release. Tables and additional content from the 2018 edition of Employment and Wages Annual Averages are now available online at www.bls.gov/cew/publications/employment-and-wages-annual-averages/2018/home.htm.

The County Employment and Wages release for second quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. The County Employment and Wages full data update for second quarter 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, December 4, 2019.

QCEW Data Now Available in Census Business Builder Version 2.6

The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages data is now available in Census Business Builder Version 2.6, a suite of U.S. Census Bureau web tools that assists business owners and regional analysts in data-driven decision making. As the first collaboration of this type between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, this data-sharing project makes data more accessible for local users and enhances the efficiency of digital service delivery. The Census Business Builder is available at: www.census.gov/data/data-tools/cbb.html.


Technical Note

Average weekly wage data by county are compiled under the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, also known as the ES-202 program. The data are derived from summaries of employment and total pay of workers covered by state and federal unemployment insurance (UI) legislation and provided by State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). The average weekly wage values are calculated by dividing quarterly total wages by the average of the three monthly employment levels of those covered by UI programs. The result is then divided by 13, the number of weeks in a quarter. It is to be noted, therefore, that over-the-year wage changes for geographic areas may reflect shifts in the composition of employment by industry, occupation, and such other factors as hours of work. Thus, wages may vary among counties, metropolitan areas, or states for reasons other than changes in the average wage level. Data for all states, Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), counties, and the nation are available on the BLS Web site at www.bls.gov/cew/; however, data in QCEW press releases have been revised and may not match the data contained on the Bureau’s Web site.

QCEW data are not designed as a time series. QCEW data are simply the sums of individual establishment records reflecting the number of establishments that exist in a county or industry at a point in time. Establishments can move in or out of a county or industry for a number of reasons–some reflecting economic events, others reflecting administrative changes.

The preliminary QCEW data presented in this release may differ from data released by the individual states as well as from the data presented on the BLS Web site. These potential differences result from the states’ continuing receipt, review and editing of UI data over time. On the other hand, differences between data in this release and the data found on the BLS Web site are the result of adjustments made to improve over-the-year comparisons. Specifically, these adjustments account for administrative (noneconomic) changes such as a correction to a previously reported location or industry classification. Adjusting for these administrative changes allows users to more accurately assess changes of an economic nature (such as a firm moving from one county to another or changing its primary economic activity) over a 12-month period. Currently, adjusted data are available only from BLS press releases.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Covered employment and wages in the United States and the 6 largest counties in Tennessee, first quarter 2019
AreaEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
March 2019 (thousands)Percent change, March 2018-19 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)Average weekly wageNational ranking by level (3)Percent change, first quarter 2018-19 (2)National ranking by percent change (3)

United States (4)

146,497.61.4--$1,184--2.8--

Tennessee

3,004.22.0--996281.942

Davidson, TN

503.73.4191,22280-0.5339

Hamilton, TN

206.41.8949962013.3110

Knox, TN

239.71.3150952235-2.7353

Rutherford, TN

132.41.61189482395.131

Shelby, TN

498.31.21591,1041302.9144

Williamson, TN

137.84.061,389437.45

Footnotes:
(1) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(2) Percent changes were computed from quarterly employment and pay data adjusted for noneconomic county reclassifications.
(3) Ranking does not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.
(4) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.

Note: Data are preliminary. Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.


 Table 2. Covered employment and wages in the United States and all counties in Tennessee, first quarter 2019
AreaEmployment March 2019Average Weekly Wage(1)

United States(2)

146,497,599$1,184

Tennessee

3,004,216996

Anderson

39,5011,168

Bedford

16,274736

Benton

4,205652

Bledsoe

2,189674

Blount

50,416895

Bradley

41,753813

Campbell

9,031679

Cannon

2,218653

Carroll

6,836651

Carter

11,360675

Cheatham

8,552890

Chester

3,720651

Claiborne

9,226662

Clay

1,409600

Cocke

7,714664

Coffee

27,058900

Crockett

3,612777

Cumberland

17,515648

Davidson

503,7191,222

Decatur

3,358718

De Kalb

5,701742

Dickson

18,037740

Dyer

15,484773

Fayette

7,967863

Fentress

5,199594

Franklin

11,590728

Gibson

14,395700

Giles

10,189743

Grainger

3,796714

Greene

25,063743

Grundy

2,145524

Hamblen

32,105783

Hamilton

206,358996

Hancock

944504

Hardeman

6,831743

Hardin

8,090865

Hawkins

12,878796

Haywood

4,819773

Henderson

7,997795

Henry

11,474737

Hickman

3,645705

Houston

1,511607

Humphreys

5,962978

Jackson

1,388611

Jefferson

13,354790

Johnson

4,162766

Knox

239,672952

Lake

1,635659

Lauderdale

6,586732

Lawrence

10,796673

Lewis

2,647592

Lincoln

10,370708

Loudon

15,913837

McMinn

19,017859

McNairy

5,493636

Macon

4,995637

Madison

59,447835

Marion

7,333725

Marshall

9,882795

Maury

37,099954

Meigs

2,208743

Monroe

14,437755

Montgomery

55,377754

Moore

2,191838

Morgan

3,016691

Obion

10,951700

Overton

5,051705

Perry

1,880594

Pickett

973712

Polk

2,068638

Putnam

36,915746

Rhea

10,456829

Roane

19,1291,342

Robertson

21,296742

Rutherford

132,411948

Scott

5,785595

Sequatchie

3,082606

Sevier

46,796585

Shelby

498,3151,104

Smith

5,289819

Stewart

2,737945

Sullivan

68,436962

Sumner

55,425840

Tipton

11,591694

Trousdale

1,954749

Unicoi

4,816874

Union

2,463651

Van Buren

794620

Warren

12,626795

Washington

61,648782

Wayne

3,750627

Weakley

11,183654

White

7,420663

Williamson

137,7611,389

Wilson

47,111808

Footnotes
(1) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(2) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.

NOTE: Includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs. Data are preliminary.


Table 3. Covered employment and wages by state, first quarter 2019
StateEmploymentAverage weekly wage (1)
March 2019 (thousands)Percent change, March 2018-19Average weekly wageNational ranking by levelPercent change, first quarter 2018-19National ranking by percent change

United States (2)

146,497.61.4$1,184--2.8--

Alabama

1,978.01.6944382.532

Alaska

312.40.31,108183.39

Arizona

2,895.12.51,056223.021

Arkansas

1,218.50.7896452.238

California

17,436.41.81,40153.84

Colorado

2,690.31.91,23194.82

Connecticut

1,650.60.01,48742.334

Delaware

444.11.31,19913-0.151

District of Columbia

773.50.51,92110.249

Florida

8,894.32.11,015262.725

Georgia

4,488.62.11,121172.628

Hawaii

658.1-0.41,006273.48

Idaho

732.32.7828502.334

Illinois

5,912.00.11,27582.725

Indiana

3,059.11.2963330.948

Iowa

1,527.10.1942392.334

Kansas

1,379.30.6940403.212

Kentucky

1,882.60.6920412.238

Louisiana

1,916.8-0.1954342.532

Maine

599.81.2919423.116

Maryland

2,670.30.91,228101.745

Massachusetts

3,558.11.11,56133.57

Michigan

4,307.40.61,078200.150

Minnesota

2,840.80.51,203122.334

Mississippi

1,129.80.4779511.843

Missouri

2,788.40.5986312.628

Montana

458.80.9844493.116

Nebraska

965.60.1917432.238

Nevada

1,392.23.0992291.547

New Hampshire

656.21.21,156153.116

New Jersey

4,040.21.31,39961.745

New Mexico

825.41.3890473.212

New York

9,453.51.51,63922.628

North Carolina

4,458.52.01,054233.212

North Dakota

414.31.51,021253.39

Ohio

5,363.20.71,035243.021

Oklahoma

1,617.01.1953354.33

Oregon

1,921.91.31,060213.39

Pennsylvania

5,850.31.11,146162.824

Rhode Island

474.70.81,104191.843

South Carolina

2,110.02.0901443.021

South Dakota

419.00.4865482.725

Tennessee

3,004.22.0996281.942

Texas

12,455.62.21,204113.116

Utah

1,501.43.0978323.116

Vermont

309.10.4950363.75

Virginia

3,896.91.21,186142.141

Washington

3,371.11.81,36874.91

West Virginia

687.10.3896453.212

Wisconsin

2,838.90.1992292.628

Wyoming

269.01.9948373.75

Puerto Rico

875.82.2553(3)-2.1(3)

Virgin Islands

36.69.6966(3)-1.0(3)

Footnotes:
(1) Average weekly wages were calculated using unrounded data.
(2) Totals for the United States do not include data for Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.
(3) Data not included in the national ranking.

Note: Data are preliminary. Covered employment and wages includes workers covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) programs.

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, September 18, 2019